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Alaska Airlines replacing paper manuals with iPads

  • Author: Craig Medred
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published May 30, 2011

Alaska Dispatch's Bush Pilot blog previously reported on the increasing popularity among private pilots of iPads and similar tablet computers as an alternative to the heavy paper manuals and charts that would typically clutter a cockpit. Now, the Seattle Times reports that Alaska Airlines will issue iPads to all of its pilots as a space-saving and hopefully injury-preventing measure, replacing the up to 50 pounds of paper manuals a pilot may be required to carry aboard a given flight. Pilots like the ease-of-use and the aviation industry has responded with apps targeting specific airports, aviation-related weather reports, and flight-planning apps. According to the airline, pilots will be required to stow their company-issued iPads during takeoffs and landings, just as passengers are told to do -- and surely it's a small comfort to know that a pilot won't be playing Angry Birds while trying to conduct a landing in crosswinds. However, the possibility of the cockpit distraction represented by an app-enabled computer such as the iPad is still very real, as evidenced by incidents like the 2009 Northwest Airlines flight that missed its scheduled landing because the pilots were working on their personal laptop computers. Read a bit more, at the Seattle Times.